September 6, 2018

Schadenfreude 240 (A Continuing Series)

Ken Davidoff, Post:
The best thing you can say about the Yankees' trip to Northern California is that it could have gone even worse. It couldn't have concluded in worse fashion, however, with this disastrous, alarm-sounding, 8-2 loss to the A's on Wednesday night at Oakland Coliseum, during which their titular ace and their formerly stud catcher competed arduously, early, for the goat's horns.

Is there any less desirable sensation for a baseball team than slogging in September? The Yankees have now lost two and tied one of their last three series, posting a 4-6 record at a juncture they hoped to soar.

[Aaron Boone:] "I think we're doing some things well ..."

[T]he Yankees (87-53) head to Seattle holding a respectable 3.5-game lead, four in the loss column, over the A's (84-57). Yet little doubt exists over which of these clubs stands as the rising stock and which the falling entity, and it would surprise no one if the gap shrunk rather than grew as we proceed. ...

Luis Severino and his battery mate Gary Sanchez ... turned the bottom of the first inning into the worst pairing since Sylvester Stallone and Sharon Stone in "The Specialist." Have you ever seen anything like the two-wild-pitches, two-passed-balls, two-doubles, two-singles dumpster fire that the Yankees endured? Severino and Sanchez looked more out of sync than AOL and Time Warner as the A's leapt to a 4-0 lead. ...

The confusion between the two begged forward-looking questions: Is Severino ... with his 2.2-inning, six-run outing, still the man you want starting that wild-card game? And should Sanchez, his defense looking as bad as ever and his bat overall tepid, remain the Yankees' No. 1 catcher? ...

Eventually, be it this month or next, the Yankees will perform live without a net. Are you eagerly anticipating that scenario or dreading it?

At the moment, is it even a close call?
Kristie Ackert, Daily News:
I guess we know who should not be starting a potential American League wild card game against the A's, or maybe we found out who should not be catching it.

Yankees ace Luis Severino, who has struggled in the second half of the season, was chased early Wednesday night — with a lot of help from his catcher Gary Sanchez. ...

Severino got the nod last season when the Yankees' hosted the Twins for the AL wild card game — and got just one out in the first inning before he was yanked. Wednesday night was his shortest start of the season and the shortest regular-season start since May 14, 2017 against the Astros.

He allowed six runs, five earned, on six hits. ...

Severino had some a lot of help imploding.

Sanchez had two passed balls. Severino was charged with two wild pitches, one that allowed a run to score, in an ugly first inning. ...

In a July 24th game in Tampa, Sanchez's passed ball allowed a run to score and Severino was steamed. Back in the dugout, Severino confronted his catcher. The discussion, caught on cameras broadcasting the game, got heated. The next day, Sanchez was put back on the disabled list after just three games with the same groin injury he suffered on June 24. ...

[Sanchez] has 13 passed balls on the season, tied for the most in the major leagues with Martin Maldonado. The Astros' catcher has 13 in 102 games this season, Sanchez has the same in 59 games. ...

Yankees pitchers have thrown 37 wild pitches with Sanchez behind the plate. ...

Sanchez finished last season with 16 passed balls and Yankees' pitchers were charged with 53 wild pitches when he was behind the plate. ...

Over his last 11 starts, Severino has allowed 42 earned runs in 55.1 innings pitched for a 6.83 ERA.
September 5, 2018
Yankees at Athletics / Luis Severino pitching (B1)
Ramon Laureano doubles to LF
Matt Chapman grounds out SS-1B
Laureano to 3B on Gary Sanchez passed ball
Jed Lowrie singles to RF, Laureano scores (1-0)
Khris Davis doubles to RF, Lowrie to 3B
Lowrie scores, Davis to 3B on Severino wild pitch (2-0)
Matt Olson doubles to LF, Davis scores (3-0)
Olson to 3B on Gary Sanchez passed ball
Olson scores on Severino wild pitch (4-0)
Stephen Piscotty strikes out swinging
Marcus Semien grounds out SS-1B
[4 runs, 4 hits, 2 wild pitches, 2 passed balls, 41 pitches]

George A. King III, Post:
Gary Sanchez being accountable and saying he should have blocked the two passed balls and two wild pitches  ... doesn't change the fact that he had as bad an inning as a major league catcher can experience ...

The communication between Severino and Sanchez, who got into a heated discussion earlier this year in Tropicana Field's dugout, wasn't the only problem for the Yankees.

Through six innings, Mike Fiers blanked them and allowed two hits after stranding three runners by getting Luke Voit on a bases-loaded grounder in the first. ...

[The Yankees] have lost six of 10 [and] dropped 9.5 games back of the AL East-leading Red Sox.

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